Dan Banks didn’t say which one was more thrilling — being a sousaphone player who dots the “I” during the playing of the iconic Script Ohio on game day at Ohio Stadium, or hitting a hole-in-one on the golf course.
The 1983 graduate of Elida High School has done both.
More than once.
Now a PGA golf professional at Solon Country Club in Solon, Ohio, Banks has scored a hole-in-one six times, most recently two years ago.
“I just love golf … always have. It’s the greatest game,” he’ll tell you.
Then there’s Ohio State.
Banks was in sixth grade at Elida Middle School when his mother took him to the horseshoe for his first Buckeye football game.
What did he remember the most that day on the drive back to Allen County?
• Not the crafty maneuvers of quarterback Rod Gerald.
• And it wasn’t the three yards and a cloud of dust by tailback Ron Springs.
• You also can rule out the sideline pacing of Coach Woody Hayes.
“It was the band,” Banks said. “When I saw the band march onto the field, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. … to dot the ‘I’ in Script Ohio.”
And “do,” he’s “done” — twice.
Banks was in the band in the L Row from 1984 to 1987. During his senior year he was one of the sousaphone players to dot the “I.”
Thirty-four years later he was at it again.
This time it was during halftime of Ohio State’s game against Akron two weeks ago. Banks was one of two members of the alumni band who dotted the “I” during a special performance involving the alumni band and the current band. During the performance, the bands team up to perform the Script Ohio in the four corners of the field. It’s a tradition that rocks the stadium.
The alumni band picks the oldest sousaphone to dot the ‘I,’ thus Banks got the call. The thrill was just as big at age 56 as it was at age 21.
“It’s simply electric … performing in front of 100,ooo fans,” he said.
More electrifying than scoring a hole-in-one on the golf course?
“Let me get my seventh and maybe I’ll be able to answer you.”
ROSES AND THORNS: A Good Samaritan gets a spot in the rose garden.
Rose: When it comes to honest people, Craig Newland’s name should be found somewhere toward the top of the list. Newland was driving on Allentown Road and shortly before he came to the Baty Road intersection, he noticed what appeared to be a stash of cash blowing around in a home’s front yard. It turned out to be $360. He also found a smashed cell phone with a couple’s photograph on it. Newland turned over the cash and phone to the Elida Police Department. Later that evening the man in the photograph showed up to claim the loot. Apparently, he lost it while riding his motorcycle.
Rose: There’s a good reason Sondra Dreitzler of Cridersville is known as “Mrs. Plugger,” or should we say, there are 17 good reasons she wears that title. Sondra had another idea featured in the nationally syndicated comic strip “Pluggers” on Sept. 20 — marking the 17th time that has happened.
Rose: You could say Perry High School’s Brady Yingst runs the county. On Tuesday, he won the Allen County Cross Country meet, giving him a clean sweep of winning the race all four years of his high school career. He finished the 3.1-mile hilly course at Farout Park in 16 minutes, 49 seconds.
Rose: To Taft Mangas, a member of Lima’s Laborers’ International Union of North America. He was among the people testifying in Washington, D.C., before the House Select committee hearing on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth Committee. Mangas talked about outsourcing, the trades and issues facing the construction industry.
Rose: To Roger Sexton, who has played Santa Claus for 17 years in the ABATE Toy Run. Hundreds showed up on motorcycles for this year’s event after taking a hiatus last year due to the pandemic. They were hoping to raise $20,000 to $30,ooo to purchase toys for children in six counties.
Rose: Al Jardine of the Beachboys, who was born in Lima, came across a letter written to him 11 years ago by Justin Evans, formerly of Lima. Evans was asking for autographs. Jardine had an assistant — a man named “Spud” — track down Evans. Spud then hand-delivered the autographs to Evans at the Bellefontaine Avenue Happy Daz restaurant .
Rose: To William L. Evans, of Kenton, who was honored by the Ohio State Bar Association for 50 years of service to the community and the legal profession.
Thorn: John James has received four letters from the Department of Family Services to his home on Maple Street in Waynesfield . Each letter was addressed to a person with a different name, telling them their jobless benefits were expiring. “One of the names listed was to Brenda Boston and another to Darlene Dah Dah. Now c’mon, shouldn’t names like that — coming from the same address — tip someone off that there’s a scam in the works involving jobless money?”
PARTING SHOT: “My 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy.” — President Ronald Reagan.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.